Have you performed a financial integrity check? I was intrigued by how this life coaching technique pioneered by Martha Beck, the celebrated master life coach, could be applied to your finances. A recent article in BusinessWeek stoked my interest in an integrity check and a more in-depth integrity cleanse.
In her life coaching experience, Beck describes the importance of an “integrity cleanse.” The basis of an integrity cleanse is not to be dishonest with anyone about anything for any reason. It is to teach you how to identify and to act on your authentic truth consistently in order to live a happy life free of self-doubt and anger.
She also popularized the concept of an “integrity check.” I understand it to be a technique to use in your daily life to ensure you have integrity in everything you do. Before taking an action, such as a false reply to someone’s comment or a bitter reaction to a situation, check to see if the action is in line with your values. Proceed if it is. Have the presence of mind to change action if it is not. This technique requires a lot of self-awareness.
The “cleanse” is the larger examination of your life and goals. The “check” is the process or awareness to keep you on track as you live every day.
I believe these two concepts can be applied to your personal finances.
I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of ascertaining the type of financial life you want to live. It allows you to determine what you want out of life and how money, savings, risk, and investments can play their part. This process is similar to Martha Beck’s integrity cleanse but with a focus on your finances.
The financial integrity cleanse is similar to the process that financial planners use to develop a personal financial plan. It is about setting realistic goals in time periods or describing how you’d like to live and how your finances can help you achieve your goals and aspirations.
Only after doing the “financial integrity cleanse” are you be in a position to engage in daily financial integrity checks.
A financial integrity check could, for example, occur when you make a purchase or savings decision. “Does this purchase further my financial goals?” Another example could be when you are asked to lend money to a family member. Does the action further or retard your financial integrity? The financial integrity check is the process you engage in day and day out to execute your plan.
I love both of the concepts!
In sum, the concepts of ascertaining how you want to lead your life and implementing a process to do so is a great way to live an authentic financial life.